Microsoft's Windows software is used around the world by everyone from consumers to governments - the footprint of Windows is massive. But if you live in Russia, your dependence on Windows might be about to stagnate if the government has its way.
Thanks to political tension between the United States and Russia, along with newly announced sanctions by the US, Russia is looking to strike back at the US economy by limiting its use of Microsoft software. Microsoft was not alone in being called out as IBM, HP and Oracle will also be affected as well.
A new bill is being drafted that will push government agencies, along with state-run enterprises, to favor local providers of software and hardware. The idea is that the government should support its local vendors by purchasing their software and hardware as opposed to imported goods from the US. It is not clear if there are credible Russian-based alternatives to Windows, and other software/hardware vendors that offer the same level of features and security.
According to the report, the bill aims solely to give preference to local vendors; it does not outright ban the use of imported products.
“This all has to do with sanctions,” Andrey Chernogorov, executive secretary of the commission, said in a phone interview. “Given the current international tensions, substituting imports with local software and hardware becomes the key to ensuring self sufficiency.”
Only time will tell if Russia is able to successfully self-source replacements for these key applications and hardware. Seeing that enterprise-grade software is not built overnight, it could take time for this change in software procurement to have any significant impact on the bottom lines of US-based corporations.